Study Says DVR Hasn’t Changed Ad Effectiveness

May 10, 2010


According to a Duke University researcher, DVRs have not hurt television advertising or changed consumers’ buying behavior. 

Some predicted earlier this decade that technology like TiVo and other digital video recorders – because they enable viewers to easily fast-forward through ads – would (eventually) kill television commercials.

However, Carl Mela, a professor in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, says that the ability to skip through the ads has had no effect on buying behavior and that not as many people fast-forward through television commercials as originally feared.

“Companies are afraid of a ‘TiVo effect’ and are changing their media spending as a result.” said Mela. “But we find no change in people’s shopping patterns when we compare a group that has TiVo with a group that doesn’t. The manufacturers’ fears seem to be overstated.”

Mela credits the lack of impact to several factors: 

  • About 95% of people still watch television live and, as a result, cannot fast forward through the commercials.
  • Even those without a DVR can skip commercials by using the breaks to go to the kitchen or flip to another channel.
  • While viewers fast-forwarded through about 70% of the commercials in shows they recorded, they still watch the screen to know where to resume play, meaning they are still being exposed to the advertisements.
  • Ability to record a show and watch it later means consumers are watching more television.

 The study included households with and without DVRs.


How Media Works: Advertising & the Purchase Funnel

November 16, 2009

The impact of different media choices on auto advertising shows Television’s strength across all stages of the funnel.

The Yankelovich study also sheds light on how media interact to drive consumer actions.

Yankelovich 2009 — Automotive Category


Question: “Which advertising media experience … most increased your awareness; most increased your level of interest; made you consider purchasing; encouraged you to actually purchase?”

Picture for Post #40


The Retailers’ Guide to TV Media Buying Terms

September 3, 2009

Picture for Post #18If you find yourself glazing over every time your ad agency or TV rep starts talking about cost per points or PUT levels, then I have the perfect remedy.   

Just click on the link for a comprehensive glossary of over 150 retail TV advertising terms and definitions.

Glossary of Television

So the next time they start laying on thick with the TV media buying jargon – you’ll be more than able to hold your own.

Remember:  Knowledge is power.




Retail TV Advertising in Local Newscasts is More Engaging

August 28, 2009

TV commercials that appear in local newscasts are the most engaging, Picture for Post #15according to a recent study conducted for Hearst-Argyle Television by researcher Frank N. Magid Associates.

Speaking at the annual Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Conference in New York, Hearst-Argyle CEO David Barrett pointed out that local TV newscasts are more “DVR proof” than other broadcasts because viewers tend to watch the local news live and therefore are not as likely to fast forward through the commercials.

The study also found that viewers were more engaged with ads in local newscasts than with radio (72% compared to 28%) newspaper (64% compared to 36%), direct mail (55% to 45%) and magazines (57% versus 43%).  

Survey results also showed that 47% of the 2,500 respondents said local TV news was “my most important source of information in my community.” That figure was the same for newspaper, but topped Web sites (30%) and radio (17%).

Hearst-Argyle operates 29 TV stations from coast to coast, reaching 18% of U.S. Homes.



Retailers: Think Twice Before Cutting Back Your Ad Spending

August 18, 2009

Picture for Blog #9A new study by ThinkVine, a Cincinnati analytics firm, offers evidence that cutting out ad spending during a recession can have harmful consequences.  

The firm that does predictive media modeling for marketers such as PepsiCo, and Colgate-Palmolive, found that although companies can usually get away with cutting media spending in the short term; cutbacks over 16 weeks can start to erode sales volume. 

The firm analyzed the effects of turning off all advertising entirely for a year on one unnamed brand.  It then studied the effects of turning it back on the next year at prior levels.  Here’s what they found: 

  • For about 16 weeks, sales volume was about the same. 
  • By the end of year one, however, sales volume was about 20% lower without advertising than with it. 
  • Turning the advertising back on in year two, reversed the sales decline as the brand began growing again at the same rate before the advertising was stopped. 
  • However, the advertising was not able to close the gap in sales compared with what it would have achieved had it maintained media spending for both years. 

Different brands respond differently to media cuts, but for many – getting back sales and share lost from cutting budgets can be a lengthy and an expensive process. 

ThinkVine CEO, Damon Ragusa, said it best:

“The cost of getting back what you lose is often greater than the savings of not advertising.”



Retail Chains Benefit from “The Recency Theory”

August 12, 2009

retail“Spend your media dollars as efficiently as possible … only advertise when you have the greatest chance for success.”

If you’re responsible for the television advertising budget for a small to medium size retail chain and you’re not employing The Recency Theory into your media strategy – then keep reading.

Don’t worry; I won’t bore you to death with some technical dissertation. Although this concept may be different from what you’re doing now, it’s really more about common sense than anything else.

The Recency Theory states: Ads work best when people are ready to buy. Pretty simple, huh? It also favors reach over frequency, which is especially beneficial for those chains struggling with limited ad budgets.

Under The Recency Theory, commercials are bought to target consumers as close to the time of decision as possible. The closer your message gets to the time of decision – the greater the impact. On the other hand, the influence of the ad exposure diminishes the further away from the time of decision.

For example, an Olive Garden commercial is more effective right before dinner time than in the early morning. Logic dictates that Joe is going to be more receptive to an All-You-Can-Eat Pasta offer when he’s hungry for dinner than right before his morning coffee.

Under The Recency Theory, consumers have a role in making the advertising work.

  • The advertising itself did not get Joe to perk-up to the offer. The hunger in the pit of his stomach did.
  •  The TV advertising simply reminded Joe how hungry he was and at the same time presented him with a timely offer.
  • In fact, Joe may have been exposed to multiple Olive Garden commercials throughout other time periods, but hardly noticed them because he was not thinking about food at the time.

With The Recency Theory you only advertise when you have the greatest chance for success. You choose reach over frequency. In the case above, one strategically placed commercial at dinner time trumps two or three commercials placed in the morning hours.

It’s all about influencing the purchasing decision while spending your media dollars as efficiently as possible. The recency theory requires retail chains (and their agencies) to look beyond traditional measuring metrics and to rely on something that is hard to quantify on a flowchart: Common Sense!